There are two types of ODI matches. Ones with Sachin in it, and Ones with Sachin not in it. Alas! There would now be none of the first type.
There will never be the conviction of things being fine because one short, unassuming genius is still out there on the pitch. There will never be the madness, the euphoria and the craze that accompanied each shot that raced to the boundary, each dive that saved a run, each ball that trumped the batsmen. And of course, there will never be the trademark grin that came to be feared by bowlers all over the world.
Sometimes it is hard to imagine how one sportsman could inspire such fanfare, close to worship. However, anybody who fell in love with Indian Cricket in 90s will agree that it all started because of one person. He was the one who symbolized not just an escape from defeat, but a surge for victory. With him at crease, Indians believed that all bowling attacks are manageable, all totals are achievable and all series are winnable. There was aggression in his unassuming style. There was steely resolve in his subtle frame. There was an unending desire for dominance in his mild manners. He was the symbol of a resurgent India, looking desperately for symbols of pride in the midst of economic, political and social turmoil. He was the only good news in the gloomy newspapers. He was the stuff dreams were made of.
What can I say today that has not already been said, as a fitting tribute to the man who gave me millions of little joys, over and over again? Just going through the earlier days when I blogged about him...
I wrote about him when the Wankhede crowd booed him, later holding 'Sorry' placards, when he completed 20 years, when he completed 100 centuries, etc... just wish to recount the same...
To sum up, there was a 'troll' going around on Facebook... Mayans were right... the world did end in December 2012!!
We will miss you in India colours, Sachin! Hope the team finds someone worthy of the No 10 Jersey soon!